Known for its stunning beaches, picturesque landscape of mountains, captivating deserts, and lush green jungles, Mexico is one of the favorite vacation destinations for travelers. The country is also home to ancient Aztec and Mayan sites and historic colonial cities which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This beautiful city has so much to offer that a first-timer might find it difficult to decide which attractions to visit and which ones to miss. To solve this worry, here is a list of seven must-see landmarks for first-timers in Mexico.
Angel of Independence
Located on a roundabout in downtown Mexico City, Angel of Independence is a tribute to Mexico’s victory over Spain in its War of Independence. Also known as El Ángel or Ángel de la Independencia, the monument is among the most recognizable structures in the city. Built-in 1910, the monument is topped with Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike.
The largest of the Maya cities in the Yucatan Peninsula, Chichen Itza is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in Mexico. The temple-pyramid of El Castillo has special astronomical significance. While you can capture the monument under the clear sky during the day, do not miss sound-and-light shows that illuminate the buildings’ sophisticated geometry at night.
A beautiful blend of neoclassical, baroque, and Mexican churrigueresque architecture, Catedral Metropolitana is the largest cathedral in the Americas. Located in the northern side of the zócalo, it is also the oldest in Latin America. The catedral houses many precious works of colonial art in various artistic styles. The present building has five naves and 14 chapels.
Museo Frida Kahlo
Colloquially known as La Casa Azul or The Blue House, Museo Frida Kahlo gives you a perfect opportunity to know the artist better. Painted in bright hues and decorated with trees and shrubs from the outside, the museum houses some of the painter’s most important works: Frida and the Caesarian Operation (1931), Long Live Life (1954), and Portrait of My Father Wilhelm Kahlo (1952), among others.
Head to Cozumel for scuba diving and snorkeling. Located just off the Yucatan Peninsula, the island receives the first sunrays and the most beautiful sunrise too. The island has rich marine biodiversity, so you are sure to get some mesmerizing underwater views. Visit Chankanaab National Park, Atlantis Submarine, or San Gervasio Archaeological Zone to explore the depths of the sea.
Cenote Dos Ojos
For a surreal experience, head to Cenote Dos Ojos which is the country’s largest underwater cave systems. This is basically a stunning sinkhole in the limestone rock located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. While it looks appealing in itself, you can even swim and enjoy the beauty even more. Besides the beautifully clear waters, the caves also offer deep and shallow areas for diving and snorkeling as well as wonderful geology to explore.
Santa Prisca Church
Also known as El Templo de Santa Prisca, the Santa Prisca Church is located in Taxco. The magnificent Baroque structure was built in the 18th century as a colonial landmark. Built out of pink stone, the monument has a large domed roof lied with painted tiles, much like any classical Latin cross plan. Truly, it is an architectural gem in the city which no visitor can afford to miss.
(Curated by Priya Pareek)